Alex Robins, The Mary Burrow Scholar
MA Creative Writing
I am now in the final stages of completing the part-time Creative Writing MA, something which could not have been accomplished without the financial support from your family. Since the last time I wrote to you, I’ve also completed a range of projects which I could only have dreamt about working on a year ago. Studying, alongside my continued work with the Theatre Royal Plymouth as a Playwright and Practitioner, has allowed me to progress in a range of fields, strengthening my place in the South West theatre scene.
Having now submitted the next two modules, I am still on course to complete the Masters degree with a Distinction grade. In ‘Writing Nature: Ecology, Place, Memoir’, Dr John Clarke introduced me to a world of non-fiction I hadn’t previously explored; Nature Writing. Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin and Kathleen Jamie were my personal favourite authors during this term, all of whom inspired my own creative response. My final taught assignment was back with Dr Sam North (Programme Director and my personal tutor), ‘Writing for the Screen’. In this, we used all of the techniques we had learned so far to compose a TV series Pilot. I’ve been using the same skills in my current Dissertation writing - a full length film script.
The scholarship, which had been used previously to allow me to travel to Exeter regularly from Plymouth, has been more focused on purchasing course related books this year, as the majority of my teaching has taken place over group video calls. It has also given me the chance to prioritise my studies, allowing me time to read and to only apply for jobs which will further my career.
Due to the current restrictions, I’ve not had any live performances of my work since ‘Fireworks’, the show I mentioned in my first letter to you. However, I have produced multiple digital offerings, the largest of which was ‘North Hessary’, a commissioned video game for The North Wall in Oxford, you can view this here: https://daryljones.itch.io/north-hessary. This, along with audio plays I have made for Down Stage Write, Animate and With Flying Colours, has been incredibly beneficial in growing my audience online. If you would be interested in contacting me or keeping up to date with my activities, please see: https://www.instagram.com/notalexrobins/
The TRP Playwright Development Programme is still underway, with a recent highlight being a research and development period for the latest draft of my play which involved two professional actors and the Director Nik Partridge. Nik created the Lab Company course, which was the catalyst for my continued work in theatre, and was an essential mentor for me when I first started writing. I hope to finish the script early next year, and will be working with the playwright Rory Malarkey in the next stage of production; this is an incredible opportunity as I have been a fan of Rory’s work for many years.
Now that the Masters course is coming to an end, I feel that I am fully equipped to make work for bigger audiences. I plan to send my next play to London theatres for consideration, and I hope to create a video game portfolio strong enough to apply to triple A companies in the UK and beyond.
I’m excited as to what the future holds, and will always find time to update you if you reach out. It would be amazing to meet you in person so that I can answer any further questions you might have about myself or my work.
Thank you again for your support, Alex